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Improving Course Evaluations

Improving Course Evaluations

Why emotion-based feedback is more powerful than number-based feedback

Course evals come too late and measure the wrong thing

practice what we preach – quick feedback cycles that we get multiple times so we can pivot our approach, our content, etc.

Here’s how we gather feedback in ExEC (show & explain process)

Here’s what we are learning:

show how student emotional feedback has changed (Federico graphs)

 

Get the Emotion-Based Feedback Form

We will be sharing more engaging exercises like this one!

Subscribe here to get lesson plans delivered in your inbox.

 

New Design Thinking: Backpack Design Challenge

New Design Thinking: Backpack Design Challenge

Tell students they are hired as a product designer. Their first job out of school is to design an ideal backpack. To help them do this, introduce the series of worksheets laid out in the Backpack Design Challenge lesson plan.

Step 1: The Most Exciting Purchase or Gift

The first worksheet asks students what is the most exciting thing they bought themselves, or were given as a gift recently.

It is really helpful with this exercise for you to share your perspective. At this step, share with them a concrete example of something that really excited you.

Make sure the thing they think of is something specific, and something they were really looking forward to. For example, a birthday present, or a holiday present, or something they’ve been wanting for months that they finally splurged on.

Design thinking backpack design challenge

Step 2: Feelings About the Purchase or Gift

Students record the feelings that came up as they made the purchase or received the gift. Give students time to reflect on the emotions they felt.

The point of these two steps is to build the foundation for the design thinking exercise to come.

Our goal is for them to learn a set of skills that helps them design products and services that get their customers as excited about the thing the student is creating as the student was about the purchase or gift. 

 Get The Lesson Plan Today!

Step 3: Must-have features

Now we will teach students to design a backpack that people get super excited about.

Ask students to describe their three “must have” features of their backpack.

A new approach to design thinking

Start by describing your three “must haves” and give them a few minutes to write down their three “must haves” that are unique to them.

Step 4: Draw the ideal backpack

The next step is for students to draw their ideal backpack. The point here is not beautiful artwork. The point is to visualize what the backpack with their must-have features looks lke.

Step 6: Ideal backpack reflection

Pair your students up for this step. Each student shares their drawings with their partner.

Each partner will ask lots of questions to dive deep into why their partner wanted certain features and anything else they are curious about.

design thinking reflection

Next, give students a few minutes to reflect on their partner’s backpack design. They describe what they saw and heard, how they felt about what they saw and heard, etc.

Components of the traditional design process

  • What should be built (start with product in mind)
  • How should it work / what should it look like? (functionality)
  • Do people love it?
  • Goal: build the best thing

Alternative approach: design thinking introduction

Explain to your students that what they just experienced is the traditional design process. Continue by sharing that this traditional way is not the best way to get customers excited about their product or service.

Ask them whether their partner offered to pre-order when saw other design. Was their partner so excited that they offered to give them real money? The answer will be no.

design process steps

Explain that in the traditional design process, someone

  • decides a product they should build
  • figures out the functionality of their product – what are the nuts and bolts
  • as a last step, they launch their product and work to figure out whether people love it

For your students to design something that gets people truly excited, they need to understand the design thinking process.

The design thinking process has five steps to create products people get really excited about:

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

Talk to your students about the difference between the traditional design process and the design thinking process. In the traditional design approach, they start with thinking about the product they’re going to build.

In the design thinking process, they start with no product in mind. Instead, they start by understanding the customer’s emotional needs. In other words, what motives them on emotional level? This is the empathizing stage

If the goal is to build something people love, empathizing should be the first step in the process not the third step.

Step 7: Design something useful

Now that they are inspired to design something people want, pair students up again. Students interview the partner they previously worked with for 4 minutes each.

It is important here to tell them to forget about the backpack. They are taking a design thinking approach, so they don’t know what the “right” thing to build is. They learn what their partner really loves and why, so they can design something these customers truly want.

design thinking first step

The goal of this interview is to find out what’s the hardest part about being a student, how they felt, when they felt that way, and why it’s a problem.

Step 8: Dig deeper

Students then conduct another 4-minute interview with their partner. The difference is, this time they

  • What feelings arise for their partner when they have the problem they described before
  • Have they done anything to try and solve that problem
  • What didn’t they like about that solution

 Get The Lesson Plan Today!

Steps 9-11: Define the problem

Students next will define the problem their partner mentioned. They will

  • Synthesize data obtained from partner interview
  • Answer 3 questions
    • What goals is their partner trying to achieve?
    • What did they learn about their partner’s motivation
    • What is the partner point of view: [partner name] needs a way to [verb] because [problem to solve]

design thinking: define the problem step

This step outlines for the student a structure for the process of designing a solution that excites their partner.

Step 12: Ideate solutions

We now understand the problem. The goal here is to draw 5 different designs for alternative solutions using the new information they gathered. These designs can be anything. They don’t have to be based in reality – encourage your students to use their imagination.

design thinking new exercise

Step 13: Solicit feedback

In same pairs as before, students share their new solutions with each other and provide feedback. They share with each other what do they like, what don’t they like, and why.

design thinking feedback

Students will then iterate with their partners to come up with a more ideal solution for the problem based on their partner’s feedback.

design thinking iteration

This work will likely have nothing to do with backpacks – it will relate to the biggest problems the students experience. It could be about time management, or the dining hall, or parking, or boring classes.

That’s OK – we are working to get them trying to solve real problems for their partner!

Step 14: Reflect on new design

Students now have a new design based on feedback from their partner. Now we want them to reflect on that new design.

In pairs, they will answer two questions about the design their partner developed to solve their problem:

  • What emotions come up with thinking about partner’s new design, and why?
  • More excited about partner’s original design or new design, and why? 

design thinking reflection

Step 15: Compare approaches

Now you will recap everything with your students as a class. Tell them they went through two approaches to design:

  • Traditional design approach – their first design
  • Design thinking approach – their second design

They now fill out a comparison worksheet for these two approaches. First each student writes down the two different designs their partner create for them. The questions they will answer about these two designs are:

  • Which design are they most excited about?
  • Which design is more feasible?
  • Which design solves their partners’ problem better?
  • Which design would they choose?

design thinking comparison

Ask the class as a whole which design method feels more valuable. Specifically, ask them to put up the numbers of fingers representing the number of Xs they have in the Design Thinking row.

You should see an overwhelming number of students put up at least 3 fingers for the design thinking approach.

Highlight for students that this is why we do design thinking:

It is so much more powerful for creating ideas that are exciting to customers and that they want to pay for because the product actually solves their real problems.

Then, summarize for your students that they just completed the full design thinking process:

  • They empathized – they worked to understand their customer’s problems
  • They defined the problem – they gathered all the information they learned from their customer & now understand the problem that customer experiences
  • They then ideated on solutions for that problem – they developed multiple potential solutions for the problem their customer was experiencing
  • They prototyped products to solve the problem – here they would develop something that a user could actually interact with
  • Last, they tested their prototype – they solicited feedback from their customer to learn what appealed to them and what did not

The design thinking process is iterative. Students went through it once during this exercise. After testing, they can start again by empathizing with their customer based on their new product.

This approach is powerful because it will help your students work on solving problems that real customers actually experience.

After this exercise is a great place to segway into your syllabus and the topics you will cover and experiences students will have. You can connect this experience to the rest of your course by highlighting they will now be able to:

  • Understand a wide range of customer needs
  • Defining the problem
  • Iterating on a solution to that problem
  • Designing prototypes of that solution
  • Testing how customers feel about that solution

Get the “Backpack Design Challenge” Lesson Plan

We’ve created a detailed lesson plan for the “Backpack Design Challenge” exercise to walk you and your students through the process step-by-step.

 

It’s free for any/all entrepreneurship teachers. Please feel free to share it.

All we ask is that you leave us some feedback on it in the comments below so we can improve it!


Coming Soon…

We will be sharing more engaging exercises like this one!

Subscribe here to get lesson plans delivered in your inbox.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

 

Quick Slide: Make Entrepreneurship Relevant

Quick Slide: Make Entrepreneurship Relevant

With the first day of class approaching, here’s a slide to make your entrepreneurship course more relevant.

The more relevant your course is, the more engagement you’ll get.

Make Entrepreneurship Relevant quick slide

You can tell students that whether or not they ever become entrepreneurs, in your class they’ll learn how to…

Find problems worth solving, and solutions worth building.

Solving valuable problems is the key to success in every career path which is why everyone – from bus mechanics to business moguls – benefits from learning entrepreneurial skills.

Get our newest quick slide to engage your students on day one:


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share exercises to engage your students.

Subscribe here to be the first to get these in your inbox.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!


Missed Our Recent Articles?

Whether you are new to our community of entrepreneurship educators, or you’ve been contributing for years, we wanted to give you a list of the posts our community finds most valuable:

  • Videos to Improve Student Presentations. Here are videos to teach students to deliver presentations that make their audience feel something.
  • How to Grow a Top 50 Entrepreneurship Program. Learn 5 concrete steps you can take to grow your entrepreneurship program, as shared by leaders to Top 50 programs.
  • Marketing MVPs. In this experiential exercise, students launch real ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to test demand for their MVPs
  • 2021 Top Lesson Plans. Here is the list of our 2021 top entrepreneurship exercises and lesson plans based on feedback from our fast-growing community of thousands of entrepreneurship instructors.
The Best Curriculum Yet

The Best Curriculum Yet

If you’re teaching entrepreneurship in the fall . . .

The best version of ExEC is available now!

See why more than 200 colleges and universities will use ExEC this year: get your preview here.

Easy LMS Integration

No more fighting with your LMS!Whether you’re on Canvas, D2L, Blackboard, or Moodle, you can have a custom ExEC course uploaded in less than 5 minutes.

And with ExEC you get . . .

ExEC LMS Integration

. . . all of which you can use to customize your course.

Improve Team Collaboration

If you want to increase team engagement (while reducing friction), ExEC now enables students to work together on assignments.

ExEC Team Collaboration

Whether your students are across the table, or across the world from one another, ExEC allows them to collaborate like working professionals.

Engaging Simulations

As always, ExEC uses 100% experiential learning to teach students entrepreneurial skills.

ExEC Simulation

Save Your Students Money

ExEC has always been less expensive than textbooks and even with new functionality and more exercises, ExEC remains the same price as always. Plus, students get lifetime access and free upgrades with a one-time payment.

If you’d like to engage your students with a fun, structured experience in the Fall, check out the award-winning Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum!

Preview ExEC Now


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share exercises to engage your students.

Subscribe here to be the first to get these in your inbox.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!


Missed Our Recent Articles?

Whether you are new to our community of entrepreneurship educators, or you’ve been contributing for years, we wanted to give you a list of the posts our community finds most valuable:

  • Videos to Improve Student Presentations. Here are videos to teach students to deliver presentations that make their audience feel something.
  • How to Grow a Top 50 Entrepreneurship Program. Learn 5 concrete steps you can take to grow your entrepreneurship program, as shared by leaders to Top 50 programs.
  • Marketing MVPs. In this experiential exercise, students launch real ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to test demand for their MVPs
  • 2021 Top Lesson Plans. Here is the list of our 2021 top entrepreneurship exercises and lesson plans based on feedback from our fast-growing community of thousands of entrepreneurship instructors.
Delight Your Students This Fall

Delight Your Students This Fall

Gift your students an unforgettable experience this Fall!

With better team engagement . . .

With quick video submissions . . .

With a simplified LMS implementation . . .

ExEC delivers an engaging, structured course for any teaching format that faculty at nearly 200 colleges and universities have been using for years. For more details on using this award-winning curriculum this Fall, request a full preview today!

Preview ExEC Now

Here is how ExEC will WOW! you and your students.

Easy Team Collaboration

We have updated our platform to allow team collaboration with literally a few clicks.

Students complete exercises within our curriculum and then with a few clicks can invite other students to collaborate on that particular exercise. See this in action below:

For instance, many of our students work on a Business Model Canvas. They get frustrated sharing paper copies, or emailing ideas, or struggling with a clunky Google doc version.

Collaborating should be productive, not frustrating.

With ExEC, students easily collaborate on one Canvas, in real time, within the platform.

Quick Video Submission

Video submissions are a great way for students to meaningfully reflect on their experience. This reflective approach encourages students to improve and learn from their mistakes. Video submissions have been a juggling act of multiple tools like iPhones, Zoom, and Google Drive.

Until now!

In our new video submission process students record their reflection with the click of a button, and instantly get a link to the video they can turn in. With our next iteration of ExEC:

We leverage technology to keep the focus on the learning experience.

The student experience is not all we have improved!

New LMS Generator

With ExEC’s LMS integration, preparing your class is easy. Give us the first and last day of class, any holidays, what LMS you use, what days of the week classes happen, and the length of class sessions.

Our technology builds an LMS package specific to your course so all you do is upload it and your course is ready to go.

With ExEC, spend your time diving into detailed lesson plans, not tinkering with the LMS

ExEC Integrates with all LMS

Engage Students

Students want simple, interactive experiences.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC) is a cohesive toolset of structured activities that will build students’ entrepreneurial skills. For example:

Try ExEC this Fall and transform your and your students’ experience.

Preview ExEC Now


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share more engaging resources we are developing for entrepreneurship educators to transform their classrooms!

Subscribe here to be the first to get these resources delivered to your inbox!

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

Quick Slide: Why Prototyping Is Essential

Quick Slide: Why Prototyping Is Essential

Prototyping can make students anxious because they’ve learned to fear failure.

It’s our job to reframe failures as learning opportunities.

Like the Micheal Jordan slide, you can use these slides to change how your students think about failure:

prototyping

This sets you up to introduce prototyping not as building products, but as running experiments:

prototyping

Combine these with the 60 Minute MVP exercise and your students will discover that…

Prototyping is a powerful (and fun) way to get customer feedback.

Specifically, students learn:

  • How to create a landing page (basic website) or application prototype/wireframe
  • How to create an explainer video
  • How to collect some form of currency to measure the effectiveness of their MVP

So, if you want to show your students the power of prototyping try the 60-Minute MVP and…


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share exercises to engage your students.

Subscribe here to be the first to get these in your inbox.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!


Missed Our Recent Articles?

Whether you are new to our community of entrepreneurship educators, or you’ve been contributing for years, we wanted to give you a list of the posts our community finds most valuable:

  • Videos to Improve Student Presentations. Here are videos to teach students to deliver presentations that make their audience feel something.
  • How to Grow a Top 50 Entrepreneurship Program. Learn 5 concrete steps you can take to grow your entrepreneurship program, as shared by leaders to Top 50 programs.
  • Marketing MVPs. In this experiential exercise, students launch real ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to test demand for their MVPs
  • 2021 Top Lesson Plans. Here is the list of our 2021 top entrepreneurship exercises and lesson plans based on feedback from our fast-growing community of thousands of entrepreneurship instructors.
ExEC Can Be Your Fall Curriculum

ExEC Can Be Your Fall Curriculum

Fall will be here before you know it!

Do you want students engaged from day one?

Do you want a simplified grading process?

Do you want award-winning detailed lesson plans?

Whether you will teach:

  • In-person
  • Online synchronous
  • Online asynchronous
  • Hybrid

ExEC delivers an engaging and structured course that faculty at nearly 200 colleges and universities have been using for years. For more details on using ExEC this Fall, request a full preview today!

Preview ExEC Now

Here is what ExEC can do for you and your students.

Engage Students

Students want you to replace your lectures with interactive experiences.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC) is a cohesive toolset of structured activities that will build students’ entrepreneurial skills. For example:

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Organization

Easily Deliver a Consistent Experience

Students enjoy a consistent and structured learning experience.

ExEC is a fully experiential and extremely well-organized curriculum for any class structure – 8, 10, 12, or 16 weeks, quarter system or accelerated MBA schedule.

You get a well-organized schedule of topics that guide students to:

problems and solutions

Preview ExEC Now

Get The Tools To Enjoy Your Experience

ExEC makes planning and grading faster, so you can spend your time guiding your students. You get dozens of extremely detailed lesson plans to minimize your prep time!

Plus with ExEC’s LMS integration, prepping for your class is easy. With a couple clicks, you upload your entire class into your LMS so you have time to dive into the detailed lesson plans.

ExEC Integrates with all LMS

Preview ExEC Now

Use a Curriculum So Students Enjoy Their Experience

ExEC uses fully integrated, objective rubrics that make grading a snap and provide students valuable feedback to improve their skill development.

objective rubric

For your students, ExEC provides elegant, graphically pleasing slides for every class session to maximize engagement.

what is an mvp?

 

Give Your Students Engagement, Quality, and Structure

ExEC is an award-winning, peer-reviewed, experiential curriculum that engages students in building entrepreneurial skills.

Try ExEC this Fall and transform your and your students’ experience.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Logo


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share more engaging resources we are developing for entrepreneurship educators to transform their classrooms!

Subscribe here to be the first to get these resources delivered to your inbox!

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

Inspirational Video: Don’t You Dare

Inspirational Video: Don’t You Dare

Have your students ever shut down when they were out of their comfort zone?

My students absolutely have, many times. Two students come to mind:

    1. I had a student who, for years, talked about her dream job: becoming a forensic accountant. One summer, a fantastic company posted a forensic accounting internship near her hometown, but she wasn’t going to apply for it. When I asked why, she said she didn’t think she could compete for it. I asked her for a Zoom call, played a video like the one below, and spent the next hour helping her believe she was worthy of the internship. She didn’t get the internship that summer. But she did get it the next summer!
    2. Another student wanted to start a landscaping business. He didn’t believe he could make enough money to cover the cost to buy all the equipment. I helped him discover ways to borrow and rent equipment while he tested out his sales and service strategies and before he tried booking his first client, I sent him a video like the one below. Within a year, he had 30 clients and 2 employees.

If your students need some encouragement to believe in themselves, consider showing them some of these videos:

Entrepreneurship ask students to learn from their failures.

Of course, most of our students have been taught to fear failure and as a result, are fearful of even talking to customers, let alone trying to sell them something.

To combat that, you can use the video below to help your students learn that life isn’t about how well they avoid failure, it’s about how well they learn from it:

dream big

An experiential entrepreneurship classroom can be a stressful place for our students.

It’s full of uncertainty, challenge, and vulnerability. Many believe they can’t accomplish the things we ask of them. Many believe they can’t achieve their dreams.

Levity also goes a long way toward helping students feel more comfortable and confident. For a fun and lighthearted way to inspire your students, invite the “President” in for a pep talk:

inspirational video

Whenever your students are about to try something new, consider leveraging videos like these to give them a boost in confidence.

Show a video before they…

If you want to inspire your students, videos speak volumes!


Access Slides With These, and Many More, Videos Embedded


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share more videos to motivate your students, and exercises to engage your students.

Subscribe here to be the first to get these in your inbox.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!


Missed Our Recent Articles?

Whether you are new to our community of entrepreneurship educators, or you’ve been contributing for years, we wanted to give you a list of the posts our community finds most valuable:

  • Quick Slide: Michael Jordan was a Failure. How Michael Jordan leverages failure to make him better.
  • The NEW Marshmallow Challenge. Use this exercise to teach students why invalidated assumptions hinder all new initiatives, and are ultimately the downfall of most new companies.
  • Marketing MVPs. In this experiential exercise, students launch real ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to test demand for their MVPs
  • 2021 Top Lesson Plans. Here is the list of our 2021 top entrepreneurship exercises and lesson plans based on feedback from our fast-growing community of thousands of entrepreneurship instructors.
Quick Slide: Why Customer Interviews Work

Quick Slide: Why Customer Interviews Work

If your students are hesitant to interview customers, use the next in our series of free slides to help them understand…

We demonstrate to students that interviews are great for validating their Channel assumptions by asking them…

“If you can’t find people willing to talk about the problem you want to solve, where will you find people willing to buy your solution?”

For that reason, students learn:

“Trying to interview customers is always helpful…even if you don’t get any!”

  • If you get interviews, great!  You’ll learn about your customers, their problems, your competition, and your marketing channels.
  • If you can’t get interviews, great! You’ll save time and money knowing the channel you just tested won’t work. Best to iterate your assumptions and try again.

If you want to motivate your students to leverage the power of customer interviews…


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share exercises to engage your students.

Subscribe here to be the first to get these in your inbox.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!


Missed Our Recent Articles?

Whether you are new to our community of entrepreneurship educators, or you’ve been contributing for years, we wanted to give you a list of the posts our community finds most valuable:

  • Quick Slide: Michael Jordan was a Failure. How Michael Jordan leverages failure to make him better.
  • The NEW Marshmallow Challenge. Use this exercise to teach students why invalidated assumptions hinder all new initiatives, and are ultimately the downfall of most new companies.
  • Marketing MVPs. In this experiential exercise, students launch real ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to test demand for their MVPs
  • 2021 Top Lesson Plans. Here is the list of our 2021 top entrepreneurship exercises and lesson plans based on feedback from our fast-growing community of thousands of entrepreneurship instructors.
Quick Slide: Why Business Plans Fail

Quick Slide: Why Business Plans Fail

This is a fun slide to..

Introduce the difference between business plans and business experiments.

This is a great slide when you’re introducing:

  • The Business Model Canvas. You can tell students, “Like boxing, entrepreneurship isn’t about how well you plan; it’s about how well you respond when your plan doesn’t work. That’s why in this class you’ll learn how to use the Business Model Canvas to identify the weaknesses of your business model early so you can learn how to test and strengthen it from day one.”
  • Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). You can tell students, “Instead of planning an expensive and elaborate first product launch (that will most likely fail), Minimum Viable Products let you launch small, inexpensive experiments to quickly test elements of your business model. Their low cost and fast development time mean in the very likely scenario that your original assumptions are wrong, you’ll have plenty of time and money to build multiple MVPs and incorporate what you learn from the market in real-time.”


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share exercises to engage your students.

Subscribe here to be the first to get these in your inbox.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!


Missed Our Recent Articles?

Whether you are new to our community of entrepreneurship educators, or you’ve been contributing for years, we wanted to give you a list of the posts our community finds most valuable: